Last week, my friend admitted to me that she had never once cleaned her makeup brushes. I blacked out and when I woke up, I asked her to clarify. She shrugged and said, “I don’t know—it just doesn’t seem like it matters.” Uh, holy hell, of course it matters, I told her. Think of all the skin oils (yes, even if your skin is clean!) that you’re transferring from your face to your brush, then from your brush to your powders, then back to your face again. Think of the clogged pores, the irritation, the breakouts, the horror!
She’s been shamed by a billion articles telling her to wash her brushes on the daily, she has been shamed by her friends (cough, me), and she has been shamed by the general knowledge that germs are bad. But still, she hasn’t change. And, apparently, she’s not alone in her lax brush washings.
On a Reddit thread posted to r/MakeupAddiction this week, a user asked the beauty-obsessed community, “how often do you wash your makeup brushes?” I expected frenzied responses of “every minute of every day!” These are, after all, the most beauty-obsessed people on the internet. But instead, the most-popular answer: “Whenever I look at them and think, ‘huh,’ should probably clean them,” says user hardy_and_free, to my shock and horror. “I probably wash them once a week. Sometimes if life is too crazy, it’s every other week. I have a disinfectant spray that I use between each use just in case,” says another user.
Out of all of the responses, the general consensus was that people tend to wash their brushes once a week, or, at the very least, once every other week. Which is a better practice than my friend’s lifelong refusal, though it’s still not totally stellar, seeing as you’re still sweeping bacteria and dead skin over your face every morning. Still, not all of the responses hurt my little beauty-editor heart. “I wash my brushes after using them 1-2 times,” says one user, making me cry with happiness. “I have duplicates of all my favorite brushes, so while one set is drying, I use the other. … I’d rather replace a brush than have to deal with a skin infection/acne.” YES. This, a million times yes.
Obviously, don’t use this thread as a justification for not cleaning your tools, but at least you now know you’re not alone in your habits. Which I guess is what every rebel wants, right?